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Voters Reject Rent Control, Gas Tax Repeal in Midterms

2018 election results for Los Angeles

By Sam Catanzaro

Midterm elections are over, and while it is easy to get wrapped up following the results for the United States Congress and governor races, equally important are the City and County of Los Angeles and California municipal ballot measures that voters decided on November 6.

From establishing a city-run bank (Charter Amendment B) to expanding rent control (Prop 10), voters rejected a handful of measures that would have had a significant impact on Venice residents. Read about how the ballot measures and propositions fared below!

Charter Amendment B – Municipal Financial Institution

Charter Amendment B, which would have allowed the City of Los Angeles to establish a municipal, city-run financial institution or bank, was defeated by a 57.81 to 42.19 percent margin.

The City is prohibited from engaging in any purely commercial or industrial activities without voter approval but supporters of Charter Amendment B argued that a city-owned bank would save Los Angeles nearly $200 million in banking fees and save tax-payers money. Opponents, however, questioned if politically appointed bank commissioners would pose a conflict of interest in funding City projects. In addition, critics contended that the City does not have the necessary capability to start up and operate a financial institution with a multi-billion dollar loan portfolio.

Charter Amendment E and EE – Realign City and State Election Dates

In 2015, Los Angeles voters approved a measure that moved School Board and City Council primary elections to June to fall on the same date as State and national races. Recently, however, California lawmakers voted to move the State’s primary to March, throwing Los Angeles’ election system out of sync again. Charter Amendments E and EE, which both passed with 71.19 and 74.58 percent of the vote respectively, will realign City primaries with State primaries once again, moving City council and School Board primaries to March.

Supporters of the change say that having City and State primaries fall on the same date will save taxpayers millions of dollars. In addition, having municipal primaries occur on the same day as state primaries will increase voter turnout for City elections. Opponents argued that this will not ensure city elections are consolidated with statewide elections. In addition, opponents say that the best way to increase voter turn out for city elections is by changing to a rank choice system, not by changing the primary date.

Los Angeles County Flood Control District – Measure W

Measure W, the Los Angeles Region’s Public Health and Safe, Clean Water Program, was overwhelmingly approved by voters by a 67.48 to 32.52 percent margin. This program will aim to capture rain/stormwater to increase safe drinking water supplies and prepare for future drought by establishing a parcel tax of 2.5¢ per square foot of impermeable area, exempting low-income seniors. This tax is expected to raise approximately $300,000,000 annually.

State Measures

Of the 11 California state propositions on the ballot, all but five passed. The rejected measures are the following:

Prop 10, which would have given California cities power to expand rent control policies, was defeated by a 52 -47 percent margin.

Prop 6, which would have repealed the gas tax in California, was defeated by a 60 – 40 percent margin.

Prop 8, which would have added restrictions to dialysis clinics, was defeated by a 60 – 40 percent margin.

Prop 5, which would have expanded a property tax break for older homeowners, was defeated by a 60 – 40 percent margin.

Prop 3, which would have authorized $8.877 billion in state general obligation bonds for various water infrastructure projects, was defeated by a 51 – 49 percent margin.

For full Los Angeles election results, visit https://www.lavote.net/electionresults/text/3861

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